March 28, 2014
Posted by newunionism under communications
Leave a Comment
We’re looking for TWELVE volunteers to spend a month each as a Guest Editor. The job involves anything from about five hours per week to… well… you set the upper limit. We need your ideas, your energies, your perspectives and your networks. And hey – we need to shake things up a bit! It’s not just about running the Blog and FaceBook pages. We’re happy to see change… love the stuff… so you’re welcome to propose new projects, or conduct provocative interviews, or organize Meet-Ups, or launch a YouTube channel, or create a Prezi, or design a smartphone app… Play to your strengths!
There’s no particular job description for our 12 Guest Editors, just like there’s no wages (sorry – we should have mentioned that earlier!). This is not because we’re tight with money, just because we don’t have any. We get by on volunteer work and a budget south of shoestrings. (so hey – if fund-raising is a strengths of yours, we also need to talk!) In short, this is a great chance to make contacts and work alongside some inspiring strugglers and thinkers. The only restriction is that your work and approach must be in keeping with our principles (here) and our content guidelines (here).
Please contact email@example.com if you think you can help.
March 17, 2014
Network member Conor Cradden argues that ILO workers’ representatives have employers on the back foot on the thorny issue of the right to strike.
Employers’ representatives at the International Labour Organization (ILO) have recently started to worry that freedom of association and collective bargaining rights might mean something more than offering workers a seat at the table and then proceeding to ignore them. They seem finally to have realised what the rest of the world has always known: the point of freedom of association rights is to allow workers to challenge unilateral managerial control over business costs and organization. For the last couple of years the employers have been desperately battling to make sure that freedom of association rights mean as little as possible in practice. However, the 2014 report of the ILO’s independent legal advisory body, the Committee of Experts, suggests that this particular battle is not going their way. (more…)
December 11, 2013
This article proposes the creation of a new international sustainability standard certifying that wages and working conditions are set through ongoing processes of good faith collective bargaining. Businesses and unions that comply with the standard will be entitled to apply the ‘Fair Work: Union Made’ label to their products and services. The authors argue that while such a voluntary standard cannot substitute for robust collective and individual labour law, it is likely to be an effective means of promoting collective industrial relations.
If you are interested in being part of a small team to take this idea further, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. (more…)
December 3, 2013
This week sees yet another make or break conference for the interminable Doha Round of World Trade Organization talks, writes network member Conor Cradden. This time it’s in Bali, and on the agenda (yet again) is breaking the deadlock about multilateral trade regulation (for a quick guide to what’s going on see this piece on the Guardian website).
But, frankly, who really gives a damn? And, more to the point, is export-led development really the only way to a bright future for poorer countries, or is it mostly just a convenient way for a very small number of people in these countries and in the global north to make a lot of money? More yet to the point, is the significantly more socially and economically advantageous strategy of focusing on expanding domestic demand being kept off the agenda because it implies involving workers directly in decisions about pay and conditions? (more…)
November 28, 2013
Network member Mike Waghorne has written in to recommend Donna McGuire’s new book, ‘Re-framing Trade: union mobilisation against the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)‘. Mike says:
Donna is a doctoral graduate of the Global Labour University programme in Germany. Her doctoral thesis, of which this is the book, is on union campaigns on the World Trade Organisation’s GATS. She focuses on two Global Union Federations, Public Services International (PSI) and Education International (EI), the two GUFs most involved in this campaign. She looks at the global campaigns by PSI and EI, including their attempts to involve their national affiliates. She includes a lot of material on their work with a number of NGOs and other civil society organisations, all new work for many union organisations. She also has extensive case studies on union campaigns in two countries, Australia and South Africa. The advantage for me in this book is that, whilst she naturally looks at all the successes achieved, she also looks at the failures of the campaigns, something not often found in work on union campaigns. It is a very useful analysis of campaign work on a global issue which can be very challenging for global unions.
The book was published in 2013 and can be purchased from Rainer Hampp Verlagwww publishers (click here) or ‘soft copy’ can be downloaded from Universität Kassel here: http://goo.gl/mTPLZh.
October 5, 2013
Rather than modernising the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon has begun to drag it, kicking and screaming, back into the 1980s. He has spent seven years as an “invisible man” (his own description) but now the Secretary General is starting to make his mark. One can only hope it does not leave a permanent stain.
Ban emerged as front-runner for the General-Secretary position in 2006, “largely thanks to the United States, which was looking for an especially bland candidate after knocking heads so often with Kofi Annan over the Iraq war”.(1)
In keeping with this expectation, Ban likes to boast that in Korea he is known as the “slippery eel” because it is impossible to hold onto anything he says. It is little wonder, then, that those who wanted progressive change in the UN soon became exasperated. In fact, there have been calls for his resignation since 2009. This is what Foreign Policy magazine had to say:
“…at a time when global leadership is urgently needed, when climate change and international terrorism and the biggest financial crisis in 60 years might seem to require some—any!—response, the former South Korean foreign minister has instead been trotting the globe collecting honorary degrees, issuing utterly forgettable statements, and generally frittering away any influence he might command.”(2)
More recently, Ban has become visible. Unfortunately, his true colours are not a pretty sight. In fact, his recent bureaucratic manouevres are an open betrayal of the organisation’s founding ideals. (more…)